GASS’s role in various capacities as an organization working in the community for the poorest of the poor and having a development perspective has determined our strategic choices at every juncture – right from the fundraising methods we employ down to the nature of our interaction with the NGOs we have relationships with in order to refer people to these NGOs in case we lack the expertise in some areas that could be the area of specialization of another NGO.
Our interventions are thus engineered to include
1. Direct action addressing immediate, critical needs.
2. Community mobilization linking child rights, women’s rights and rights of the PwDs and local pre-dominant issues.
3. Stringent planning, monitoring and evaluation both programmatic plus financial.
4. Our linkages take the form of.
5. Grant making to our own DPOs.
6. We prioritize grant-making basis district-level analysis of rights indicators of the various marginalized groups we work with – especially the PwDs and children as also women.
7. We identify grassroots NGOs and communities addressing these key issues too and work with them to bring lasting change.
8. Capacity Building: enable building of perspective and capacity in areas of
9. Children’s rights.
10. women’s rights.
11. Rights of the various PwDs including the people with mental health problems [psychosocial disability], people with Epilepsy, etc.
12. policy analysis.
14. Services for rehabilitation and mainstreaming of the PwDs.
16. organization building.
Community mobilization: We believe this is the most workable long-term solution to the multiple causes of poverty, deprivation, exploitation and abuse that prevent the realization of the rights of India’s marginalized populations. In recent years, we have spearheaded a concerted, state-wide grassroots campaign in partnership with our supported NGOs that aims to establish:
Authentic data on the situation of PwDs and women as also children, nutrition, providing for services of at least adequate quality, meeting their multiple needs, gendered differences, as of late we have started a children’s helpline too with help from the central government.
Workable models to achieve universal access to education and elementary needs such as healthcare, livelihoods etc and combining direct action, community mobilization and policy influence with advocacy.
State-wide support from all segments of society for the policy changes including the amendment to constitution and ensuring fundamental rights and laws relating to accessing justice for the various marginalized groups.
Grassroots community mobilization aimed at ensuring universal access to equitable education, legal and health needs as also other crucial needs through policy making, services, legal and advocacy measures and implementation of policies ranging from rights of PwDs to the right to information. This is also in the context of women and children.
Networking and Alliance building: The aim of strategic alliances or networks is to facilitate the transfer of learning, build solidarity with other organizations and make an impact on policy to positively enhance the situation of India’s marginalized communities. In short we interface with local government and other power structures and foster alliances with state, regional, issue interest groups.
Through supporting networks, we provide a platform for the various NGOs to get together, share and learn from each other’s experiences. This enables the strengthening of field level initiatives. It also acts as a forum for perspective building on issues at the macro level.
nfluencing child-friendly Policies: While we consider the state to be primarily responsible for ensuring the rights of citizens, we realize that we too have a role to play in impacting and influencing government policies towards PwDs’ rights, children’s and women’s rights. We approach this through national level advocacy and policy influence through direct interface with ministries, legislators, alliances, advocacy networks and coalitions and the media.
Resource Organizations: In the development sector there are numerous organizations that play a critical role of being a resource hub. These organizations have expertise in various areas of development, expertise that could enhance the quality of smaller, newer initiatives. These resource organizations work towards building the capacities of GASS’s as also other development partners as well as non-GASS-supported initiatives. These organizations build capacities through innovative teaching methods, materials and training programs for teachers, community health workers, ANMs and DPOs among others. They also play a vital role in policy influencing efforts at the macro level.
Nodal Agencies: While we reach out to several organizations working at the grassroots level, there are many others across the state of Karnataka that require support. GASS may not be able to reach out to all of them. Thus, evolved the need for nodal agencies. A nodal agency is in many ways a mini-GASS, – an organization that offers both financial and non-financial inputs to smaller initiatives in the same geographical region. The creation and support of nodal agencies allows us to increase our reach at the grassroots level, without a corresponding increase in infrastructure and personnel.